|Soo... there's no espers? What about Matoya the witch?|
By saying “Final Fantasy VII” and “hate” in the same sentence, a group of otherwise normal people have caught the scent of this blog post and are ready to harvest my vial organs with their oversized swords and spiky cactus hair. But before anyone hunts me down and stuffs materia down my throat until I choke (and simultaneously learn fire magic!), there’s something I want to make clear: I played Final Fantasy VII in its entirety when it first came out in 1997 and in smaller doses over the last 13 years. I’ve had a long time to think about it, and I’m here to make valid points, not to start flame wars. Also, I didn’t like Halo, Metroid Prime or MOTHER 3. Let the flame wars begin!
|"I forgot who I am."|
I fully acknowledge what Final Fantasy VII did in the way of mainstreaming the role playing genre in America, but by doing so, it doomed plenty of RPGs for the next five years to an angsty teenage cast and a conflicted, whiny main character. There were also plenty of FFVII copycats flooding the market at the time, bringing little to the genre that wasn’t there before: Consider Crave Entertainment’s Shadow Madness, a 1999 PlayStation 1 offering which was basically Final Fantasy VII starring a pirate named Stinger and a wooden robot named Harv-5. Though, to be sure, Harv-5 was freaking awesome and used to warn everyone that “There will be death.” He also had a super cool straw hat.
|Wooden robot. Straw hat. THIS RULES|
Uh, sorry, I’m getting off track.
In the same vein, Final Fantasy VII’s eco-emo storyline simultaneously raised and lowered the bar for console RPGs and video games in general. On the plus side, after the success of FFVII, many developers saw the need to make their game worlds more broad and their narratives more epic. On the negative side, Final Fantasy VII’s storyline is so broad and epic that it isn’t very cohesive. First you’re battling the twisted Shinra organization to save the planet, then you’re out to destroy Sephiroth because he’s a jerk or something, and then the whole third disc is devoted solely to kicking Sephiroth’s butt to save the planet, with Shinra all but forgotten. Also Square resorted to giving their main character mega-cliché amnesia, which hurt my head so much that I wished I could forget that part of the game. Amnesia? Really Square? Seriously?
|"I'm Popeye the Sailor Man..."|
My biggest problem revolves around Final Fantasy VII’s most daring move. Let me put it to you like this: You know what’s really great? Leveling the crap out of one of your characters only to have her taken away for ever and ever. When Aeris died, I didn’t get sad because I loved her so much etc., instead I sat there in calm disbelief as I watched hours of playtime get a sword through her back. “I guess she’s dead,” I mumbled, hoping her equipment had been moved to the main inventory so that I might sell it to recoup some of my losses. (But speaking of lost time, I guess it turned out okay though, because I was able to play Ducktails on Gameboy whenever used a summon materia.) Too bad no one was carrying any Revive materia or Phoenix Downs, or they could have brought her back to life.
Or, you know, you could just play FFVII while wearing a straw hat.
|I love this game!|